The single mother of three rescued a fragile old man from a group of teenagers who wanted to rob him, and he leaves her a rusty old fridge.
Sheryl Zimmer was hurrying home from her job hunt when she saw a group of teenagers crowding a frail-looking old man into an alley. It was cold and raining and Sheryl was late, but she knew she had to do something.
So she raised her umbrella and rushed in screaming, and walloping the boys. For a second she thought they might turn on her too, but when they saw her furious face, they ran away as fast as they could. The old man was trembling, leaning against a wall, as pale as death.
Sheryl Zimmer was surprised when the sweet old man she'd rescued left her an old fridge | Source: Shuterstock.com
Sheryl ran over to the man just in time to hold him up. "Are you alright?" she asked him as she fumbled for her cell phone to call the police.
The man whispered, "Thank you, you saved me, thank you..."
Sheryl helped the old gentleman sit down on the curb and put her arm around him. "No big deal," she said gently. "Let's just wait for the police and the ambulance, OK?"
If we stand up for each other, we are all safer.
The old man was shaking his head. "No police," he cried. "No ambulance! Please! I'll just go home..."
Marty Gusman was walking home when the teens assaulted him | Source: Unsplash
"It's OK;" Sheryl said quietly, "You haven't done anything wrong!"
"No," said the old gentleman. "I know, but one of the boys... He lives next door, and his mother, Elena, is the nicest lady..."
Sheryl said, "So you want to protect his mom? But...what if I hadn't come along? Or if they hurt someone else?"
The old gentleman sighed. "You're right. What's your name?" he asked.
Sheryl smiled. "I'm Sheryl Zimmer, what's yours?"
Sheryl and Marty.Gusman became great friends | Source: Pexels
"I'm Marty Gusman," he said. "I live right next door. I went to cash in my pension today. These kids must have been watching me."
Sheryl sighed. "This used to be a really nice neighborhood but now... I moved here six months ago," she explained. "My husband left me, I lost my job, and with three kids, this is the rent I can afford."
Just then the police and the ambulance arrived, and Sheryl helped Marty explain everything to them. The paramedics checked Marty and said that he was OK. He just needed some rest.
So Sheryl invited Marty to come home with her for a nice hot dinner and meet her children. Over the next six months, Marty became an honorary grandfather to Sheryl's kids and a frequent visitor.
Sheryl was devastated when Marty passed away | Source: Pixabay
What Sheryl didn't know was that the 85-year-old Marty was hiding a secret. He was in the last stages of cancer, and when Marty quietly slipped away one day, Sheryl and the children were heartbroken.
After the funeral, an elderly man in a suit came up to Sheryl and told her he was Marty's lawyer. "Marty loved you," the lawyer said. "And he wanted you and the children to be safe so he left you his house."
Sheryl was in tears. She couldn't believe Marty had been so kind and so generous. "There's just one provision you have to fulfill," said the lawyer. "Marty said you could throw everything out except the refrigerator. He said you have to keep that. He said it's very valuable."
Sheryl laughed through her tears. Marty's refrigerator was an old clunker, at least forty years old, the ugliest green she'd ever seen and patched with rust. "I kept telling him to get a new one..." Sheryl said. "And he always said it was valuable, an antique. Now he's stuck me with it!"
At the funeral Sheryl learned that Marty had left her his house | Source: Unsplash
So Sheryl moved into Marty's house, but two weeks later, the old refrigerator broke down. Sheryl immediately called the repairman. "Listen," she explained to the repairman, a nice guy whose name was Kyle. "I need you to fix this."
Kyle was pulling the refrigerator away from the wall, and shaking his head. "Lady," he said, "this thing is so old, it will cost you more to fix it than to get a new one!"
Sheryl set her chin stubbornly. "This refrigerator belonged to a dear friend, and he believed it was valuable. If it was valuable to him, it's valuable to me. Please fix it!"
Kyle shook his head, but he started removing the back of the refrigerator. Then he suddenly stopped. "Your friend said this was valuable? Did he say how valuable?"
Marty specified that Sheryl had to keep the old refrigerator | Source: Unsplash
Sheryl laughed. "It was just Marty's idea. I think he thought it was an antique or vintage or something..."
"Well, lady," Kyle said grinning. "This refrigerator is practically worth its weight in gold!" When Sheryl peeked into the back of the refrigerator she was stunned to see stacks of little gold bars.
Marty had left Sheryl and her children not just a home to live in, but enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. His old refrigerator didn't just bring the family wealth -- thanks to the old clunker, Sheryl met Kyle and they ended up marrying a year later.
The back of the refrigerator was filled with gold bars | Source: Unsplash
What can we learn from this story?
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who discovers his youngest son isn't his and keeps the secret his whole life.
This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org